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Branding together: Progressive’s “Flo” has the back of AT&T’s “Lily”

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Being a brand spokesperson has its ups and downs, Milana Vayntrub, who has played perky store manager “Lily” in AT&T commercials since 2013, tells The New York Times.

But at least “Flo from Progressive” has got her back.

Vayntrub parlayed her work in the spots to directing commercials herself — including a shot-at-home reintroduction of the character in 2020. But that same year, she went public after seeing photos of her body out of her usually conservative AT&T character’s wardrobe go viral.

It got so bad that the company stepped in to defend the actress from trolls on its social media accounts and, according to the Times, put her in touch with Instagram to try to put a stop to the lecherous pics.

She tells the paper that’s where Flo — portrayed by one-time The Goldbergs recurring player Stephanie Courtney — stepped in.

Courtney has played Flo in Progressive spots for the last 15 years; her face’s silhouette even appears in branding for the insurance company.

Vayntrub says Courtney — who the paper says “counts multiple other brand-character actors as friends” — reached out to her and let her vent about a situation that perhaps only another brand spokesperson could understand. She’s “a good listener,” Vayntrub comments. Courtney made her feel “like there were people on my team.”

Lily’s alter ego says she’s become “protective” of the character and says playing her is “one hundred percent” worth the trouble.

 

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